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Baddest of the Bad

Unauthorized offshore gambling sites trying to poach New Jersey online gamblers

Baddest of the Bad

When New Jersey opened up online gambling in the state in November, many of the world’s top online gambling sites applied for gambling licenses.

But according to the chief executive of one of those companies—bwin.party—a lot of other international companies didn’t bother, and are now trying to lure in New Jersey players.

“There’s increased activity by offshore operators again into New Jersey, driving heavy promotions,” Norbert Teufelberger, chief executive of bwin.party digital entertainment, said in a March conference call with investors. “There’s new companies coming now who are actually trying to capitalize on that opportunity. It’s quite amazing how high the criminal energy can be, but we are quite confident that the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement will shut that down quite efficiently, and soon.”

Kerry Langan, a spokeswoman for the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, told the website Philly.com that the DGE is “aware of this issue and is taking steps to coordinate an appropriate response to this illegal activity.”

Though the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 made it illegal for unlicensed international companies to offer online gambling in the U.S., it did not stop the activity.

Bwin.party, however, voluntarily stopped serving U.S. customers in 2006. The company is now partnered with the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa to offer online gambling in New Jersey through its Party Poker brand.

Bwin.party officials said they are worried that New Jersey gamblers may not be aware of which sites are licensed and which are not, and may be tricked into playing on unlicensed sites.

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